CfA Worlds of Social Policies: Local and Global Dimensions of Change Since 1945

6-7 February 2020, Lisbon, Portugal

Organization: Research project Worlds of (Under)Development: processes and legacies of the Portuguese colonial empire in a comparative perspective (1945-1975), Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Keynotes: Sandrine Kott (University of Geneva) and Joseph Hodge (West Virginia University)

Scientific Committee:

Joana Brites (University of Coimbra)

Cláudia Castelo (University of Coimbra)

Philip Havik (New University of Lisbon)

Joseph Hodge (West Virginia University)

Steven Jensen (Danish Institute for Human Rights)

Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo (University of Coimbra)

Alexander Keese (University of Geneva)

Sandrine Kott (University of Geneva)

Damiano Matasci (University of Geneva)

José Pedro Monteiro (University of Coimbra)

Call for papers:

Prolonging and reinventing dynamics visible in the interwar period, one of the most salient processes associated with the aftermath of the Second World War was the internationalisation of arguments, debates, norms and policies dealing with social issues. The tentative definition and implementation of standards and policies aiming at human welfare, through the (re)distribution of and access to goods and resources, increasingly included international and transnational actors and expertise. The League of Nations had already promoted social policies in the fields of rural development, public health, labour, the protection of minorities, human trafficking and child welfare, but the range of topics being debated “internationally” would be greatly expanded after 1945. The emergence and consolidation of the United Nations, and its various specialised agencies, contributed to that process, creating platforms for cooperation and exchanges, and for disputes, between international (including imperial and colonial), transnational and national experts. The UN system fostered or expanded existing networks, which promoted the production, accumulation and circulation of different types of expertise. As a result, it standardised and perfected statistical tools while developing major doctrines of social engineering and specialised forms of local intervention in a global context. Thus, rethinking and planning societal change became a “hot topic”, and a subject of heightened competition during the Cold War. Heterogenous visions of “modernity” related to early Cold War dynamics had a direct bearing upon policies introduced by modernising colonial empires and post-colonial projects of state-building and found expression in the implementation of large-scale developmental schemes. Continue reading